When I first entered the House of Commons in 2019, to take my seat in the 43rd Parliament, I was enthusiastic and optimistic. I felt a strong desire to make a positive difference for the constituents of Newmarket-Aurora, and for all Canadians.
Despite the challenges we have faced since then, I remain optimistic – while being mindful of the trust Canadians have given us. I am also mindful of what divides us. How we face these differences will define our nation, yet I am confident in our ability to listen, engage respectfully, and find meaningful solutions.
More than ever, we must be a country of equality and equity, built on respect and compassion for every Canadian and our environment – providing a quality of life for all that is the envy of the world.
There is no denying that the vulnerable, the elderly, the disadvantaged, people of colour, and Indigenous Peoples have experienced even greater hardship throughout the pandemic. There is no place for racism in Canada and we must collectively work to end all forms of discrimination in this country – with no tolerance for failure. We must ensure that compassion for all people and our environment is at the foundation of our recovery.
The health of our communities is also related to the strength and diversity of our local businesses, not-for-profits, and charities. The pandemic challenged these organizations, and now increases in the cost of living, much of it due to the war in Ukraine, pose a continuing threat to their success. And while our employment numbers have more than recovered, inflation has created a different set of challenges.
From meetings with the local Chambers of Commerce, to engaging small businesses in conversation, to picking up dinner on a Friday night, I continue to check in and support the local businesses in Newmarket-Aurora.
Accessible, affordable, inclusive, and high-quality childcare is a cornerstone of our economic recovery and an investment in the future. Not only will $10-a-day-childcare encourage more women to enter or re-enter the workforce, but will also dramatically decrease the cost of living for many families.
I am also heartened by Canadians’ desire to protect our environment and our government’s recognition that to build back on a green recovery is the right course of action – one that will ensure a bright future.
Indeed, the decisions we make now will decide the future of our country. Together and now is how we build the foundation for a better, fairer, and more inclusive Canada for all.
The Canada we all deserve.
Tony Van Bynen
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